As we all know, US President Donald Trump loves to tweet.
Unfortunately, he seems to suffer from a major lack of impulse control and has a bad habit of tweeting stuff that’s offensive or just plain untrue.
On March 1, a new website launched that donates money to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) every time Trump gets those little thumbs of his going. (Just kidding, they are yuge, really, the biggest thumbs ever, folks).
It’s called “Make Tweets Great Again (MTGA)” and it was apparently made because “Donald’s obsession with tweeting unfiltered thoughts is a problem and we have a solution”.
We are unleashing our love upon the world! Check us out at https://t.co/fdXSwM6kL0
— MakeTweetsGreatAgain (@realMTGA) March 1, 2017
According to current data on the site, Trump has sent 123 tweets from his personal account in the past 28 days.
In response, 135 MTGA users have pledged an average of $USD23.40 per tweet, giving a total of $USD955.91 to the ACLU so far.
MTGA offers users the option of setting an amount to pledge per tweet and notes that it keeps 10 percent of all donations in order to maintain the site and process payments.
It hasn’t taken long for MTGA to get noticed. Just a week after launch, the site got a nice boost via Sarah Silverman, who tweeted out to her 10 million+ followers:
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 7, 2017
MTGA is the work of HappyFunCorp developer Aaron Broken. He told Techcrunch that he decided to build the site in the wake of the recent election since he saw it as his way of getting involved with politics.
With the help of funding from HappyFunCorp co-founder Ben Schippers, MTGA was born.
The ACLU was presumably chosen as the recipient of donations because it is one of the most active civil rights organisations in the country and has been a prominent defender of those affected by Trump’s travel ban.
Recently, the ACLU sued Trump over his executive order on immigration and what it calls his “war on equality”. Since then it has received over $USD24 million in donations and is still calling for more to help protect the rights of people in America.
Using Twitter for political means isn’t a new phenomenon and has recently been dubbed “apptivism” – a portmanteau of ‘app’ and ‘activism’.
In January, the hashtag #DeleteUber boycott started trending after Uber removed surge pricing during a taxi strike around JFK airport. Within 24 hours, 200,000 Uber users had deleted their accounts, causing the company a massive PR headache and no doubt a significant loss of revenue.
A loss of 200,000 users may be a drop in the ocean compared to Uber’s global customer base of 40 million, but it’s a good example of how quickly apptivist movements can spread quickly and take effect through social media.
If the MTGA site is successful, HappyFunCorp says that it may expand the project so that donors can pick the organisation they’d like to support and the desired Twitter target.